From Marine Waste To Fashion: A Journey of Flip-Flops and Trash Heroes From Thailand’s Far South
It was a journey that began five years ago on the islands of Satun, with 100,000 flip-flops and sandals that had been spat out by the sea and washed ashore.
It was not known where this debris had come from or how far it had travelled before reaching some of the most beautiful beaches in southern Thailand.
It took three months of daily work for all of it to be collected by environmental volunteers in a group called Trash Hero. All of them were crammed into the back of a lorry – a pile of marine trash heading for a new life in Pattani, hundreds of kilometres away.
These discarded shoes may have been unwanted before, but someone wanted them now.
“I contacted them to ask for some ocean waste we were experimenting with,” said Nattapong Nithi-Uthai, a lecturer at the Faculty of Science and Technology of Prince of Songkla University in Pattani province. He teaches at the Department of Rubber and Polymer Technology.
Photo courtesy of toastal.